By Felipe Leon
Photos: Renzo Novara
Last Friday night, former three-time world champion Antonio “Tijuana Tornado” Margarito along with his company Tornado Promotion and in association with Maya Batel, presented a classic boxer vs. brawler match up between local favorite Alvaro Aguilar (23-3-1, 17KOs) against Mexicali, Mexico’s Armando “Chato” Robles (24-3-2, 12KOs) in a ten round welterweight bout. Robles took the across state contest via a workman-like unanimous decision. The bout took place at the famed Municipal Auditorium and was filmed for a later broadcast on the local Azteca channel affiliate. A cast of local up and coming fighters filled out the card in support as an enthusiastic Tijuana fight crowd took in the action.
Both fighters north of thirty-years old admitted in the pre-fight promotion that they were in a crossroads fight in which the winner would move up the ranks while the loser would have to seriously think of his future in the sport.
Robles took control of the pace early on as in his usual style, aggressively went forward looking for Aguilar. At first, Aguilar, a two-time Mexican amateur champion, looked hesitant as he was having trouble finding his range and trouble finding a home for his jab.
Until the fourth round did Aguilar let his hands really go and began to score with some crisp combinations up the middle, as Robles would come forward face first. Aguilar did the same the following round but by the seventh, it was evident that his trouble in making the 145 lbs. catch weight the day before was costing him as he began to slow down the pace and show fatigue. Robles took advantage and kept pushing.
In the eighth and ninth, it was all Robles as he had no trouble scoring his short punches on the inside and looked as if he was going to send Aguilar packing early but the Tijuana fighter was able to hold on despite suffering a cut over his right eye near the end of the ninth round that looked to bother him and made him blink. Aguilar made a final push in the tenth, beginning the round strong and looking for the knock out which was what he needed to win the fight. Robles was able to stand up to the attack and survive until the end and took the unanimous decision with scores of 97-93, 98-92 and 99-91.
DeAlba Makes a Statement
Tijuana southpaw super bantamweight Jorge DeAlba (11-0-1, 9KOs) scored quite possibly the local knock out of the year by scoring a perfect right hook to the chin of Rosalio “Aspid” Rios (7-2, 6KOs) of Tijuana by way of Veracruz, at the 2:37 mark of the second in the scheduled eight round semi-main event.
After a cautious first round where both fighters felt each other out, stepped up the pace in the second and they began to exchange heavy leather with the former two-tine amateur champion Jorge DeAlba getting the best of the exchanges. The end came when they exchanged hooks with DeAlba’s devastating one got there first and hard, right to the button which sent Rios face first to the canvas. Rios laid there immobile for about twenty second and then came to as DeAlba celebrated across the ring.
Sandoval Upset by Armendariz
In quite possible the best fight of the night, light flyweight Victor “Chaky” Sandoval (2-1, 1KO) was upset by Luis Armendariz (2-1) in a scheduled four rounder via a close majority decision. The popular seventeen year old Sandoval, a veteran of fifty amateur fights and considered a promising local prospect, looked good as usual in the first round as he controlled the action with effective aggression as Armendariz looked to counter punch him. Armendariz found his mark in the second when he trapped “Chaky” against the ropes and scored a scorching combination to the head that hurt Sandoval. Sandoval tried to hold on but Armendariz was able to stay away and keep scoring which forced Sandoval smartly to take a knee.
The loss of the point turned to be the deciding factor later in the fight as Sandoval fought back but Armendariz, confident with the knockdown, became even more aggressive and looked to attack first instead of counterpunching.
At the end, judge Brenda Lopez saw it even with a 38-38 while Julian Palombo and Benjamin Rendon saw it for Armendariz with 38-37 and 39-36 respectively.
“Chimpa” Gonzalez Blows Out Laguna
The half brother of former champion Alejandro “Cobra” Gonzalez, Cristian “Chimpa” Gonzalez (3-0, 3KOs) made quick work of Tijuana’s Leobardo “Taliban” Laguna (0-3) in the first round of a scheduled super featherweight four. Gonzalez of Buena Park, CA, also the uncle of up and coming super bantamweight Alejandro “Cobrita” Gonzalez Jr, did not hesitate and hurt Laguna with a left hook to the chin in their first exchange. Laguna, who has had a tough run losing his first two to the undefeated Leon Spinks III and Jose Galvez, wobbled back towards the red corner as “Chimpa” stalked him while throwing punches. As Laguna tried to defend himself, Gonzalez scored a huge left hook to the liver that doubled Laguna over and forced him to his knees. The Tijuana fighter attempted to beat the count but referee Christian Curiel still got to ten. The official time was :32 of the first.
Tijuana lightweight Daniel “Huracan” Ramirez (10-0, 4KOs) remained undefeated as he defeated late sub Ramon Vidales (1-3, 1KO), also of Tijuana, via a unanimous decision. Scores were 40-36 twice and 39-37.
Tough Jorge Zapoteco (1-1) was just more aggressive and landed the harder punches in earning his first win scoring a split decision over Miguel “Sinaloa” Perez (3-2-1), both of Tijuana, in a super featherweight four. Diana De La Mora and Brenda Lopez saw it 39-37 each for Zapoteco while Jesus Gonzalez scored it 39-37 for Perez.
Super middleweight Ricardo “Ricky” Romero (1-0, 1KO) of Commerce, CA, won his pro debut by forcing Tijuana’s Angel Zamora (1-1) to retire on his stool after the second round. Official time was :10 of the third.
Tijuana featherweight Rafael Rivera (8-0-2, 4KOs) looked impressive as he controlled the action against tough journeyman Carlos Mendoza (1-7-1), also of Tijuana, and took a four round unanimous decision.
Juan “Juanito” Gonzalez (9-0, 4KOs) had no trouble with Rosarito’s Alejandro Alonso (2-18-2, 1KO) in a four round super welterweight contest. Gonzalez took the unanimous decision with 40-36 three times.